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Old 12-19-2013, 05:10 PM   #1
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OK, so, I'm just so upset and shattered, and I don't even know what to do. Honestly, I don't think there is anything to do. But I'm at a loss. Sorry this is long. I'm trying to clarify the context as much as possible. Thanks for reading.

My partner has been divorced for almost 5 years. He has two amazing girls from this marriage, the oldest isn't bio, but they both are his daughters. He has been paying a lot of child support/alimony (double what the courts asked plus her phone, brand new car, insurance, and a credit card). He did all this to give his girls the best chance he could. We have them on summer and winter breaks and that's it. This breaks both of our hearts, but I truly believe that happiness matters, and your life has to be an example to your children. So, he had to move back to where he works be happy, even though his ex was staying there.

This has been the state of things for 5 years. For 5 years we have diverted questions from the girls about living with us. Now that they are getting older, IT'S harder to do. This summer it came up again, and dh choose to address the issue. He made sure dd1 understood what she was asking about (that being here meant changing schools, not seeing her mom as much) and she did, and expressed how unhappy she is at her school. He made no promises, but said it could be discussed.

So, at the end of the summer, he brought it up with the ex. She said nothing.

That same month, the credit limit on his card (in his name, his credit, but she was allowed to use it) got extended from 3k to 5k. She spent the 2k almost immediately. It had been maxed out at 3k for almost 5 years, and now it is maxed out at 5k. So, right as dh got the notification about how that (poorly) affected his credit, he was going to tell her that she wasn't allowed to hurt his credit like that. I asked him if he should delay until the living situation discussion was finished. So, he asked her again. She said, basically, f no.

So, then a few days ago, he got another notification that not only was the v card maxed out, but she hasn't paid the card in a month or two (the time since the school discussion) so he finally emailed her about the card, and said he would stop letting her use it, and to pay it off, he would use the money for her insurance and phone.

This discussion went very poorly, and has resulted in a very long, ranty email from her that is so filled with hate that I was shaking reading it.

Ok, so that was crazy long back story. My point is that she had clearly been festering on this for 5 years. She is unwilling to let him have the girls even for a year to try it out. And now, she has brought up all of this horrible stuff about me. (I "accidentally" got preggo to sink my claws in; I've been pushing him to try for custody because I want a 10 year old to help me raise dd3. Seriously?) I was hurt at first, but after my head cleared, I'm just sad. I'm sad for the girls that they have to live with someone who is clearly more unhealthy than we thought. I'm sad that they are not being allowed to have a choice in their own lives. I'm sad that her attitude is such that all of our attempts to communicate and help are seen as attacks. I'm sad because I don't think she likes being a full time mom. I think it exhausts and annoys her, and I think she would be happier being a mom from afar. I don't think there's anything wrong with that, but she fights it so much, and chooses to play the victim and feel stuck.

I just want to fix things for the girls, and for her. But I think anything I do or say will be perceived as an attack.

Any ideas on how to repair these broken relationships so that we can sensibly co-parent?


Last edited by aravae; 12-19-2013 at 05:14 PM.
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Old 12-19-2013, 05:34 PM   #2
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Re: advice on dealing with exes

I wish I could give you words of wisdom/advice, but it's difficult dealing with exes. I have been dealing with mine in and out of court usually 2-5 times per year for several years, on top of multiple e-mails every month. I'm very easy to get along with and compromise, but my ex on the other hand makes issues over even the smallest things.

I can say that he should take his ex back to court for custody, if that's what his DD's really want. Depending on their age, the judge may ask them what they would like.

I'd also suggest not paying for all of his ex's extras and just sticking to his ordered child support, unless the kids need something.

I wish I could give you better hope, but I'm one of the ones that will be dealing with their ex until their child is 18, biting my tongue, trying not to stress while the ex constantly tries to create problems. Good luck, keep your chin up.
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Old 12-21-2013, 07:04 PM   #3
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Re: advice on dealing with exes

It is hard. I agree. He is still acting like her husband in many ways. That is sending mixed messages to his ex-wife. He is making her completely dependent on him. He could get a phone for the girls and insurance for the girls but I do not think it is appropriate to buy those for his ex-wife. My ex and I have a good divorce I guess and very clear boundaries helped with that. At the very least he needs to make it clear that all support will end when the kids are out of the house. she may be considering it alimony that she is entitled to until she remarries.

Giving her a credit card is just asking her to max it out. Since it was max'd out before he had no logical reason to think she wouldn't continue to max it out. I get "the in case of emergencies" thinking but she can get her own credit card or she can call him.

It does stink that the girls don't get to choose where they live. As hard as it is don't take what she says about you personally. She probably doesn't know you well and her interests are only for her children.

My ex and I live near each other so we are able to share custody. I was initally very angry at him and the woman he left me for (now his wife). His wife and I are actually an odd pair of good friends. They have encouraged me to develop a relationship with their son, who I now love, kinda like a nephew.

Hang in there!!!!
Suzi, working mama to my ODS(2004) , YDS(2006), DSD(2004) and married to the love of my life
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Old 01-02-2014, 07:08 PM   #4
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Whats their root of divorce? History?

If i was to marry someone and make a sacrafice to get his education through ; then get divorce. I am sorry but i would except some help to put myself back on my feet. Did she stayed home raising the girls? That sets you back on a career unless you are able/capable/lucky to run a business from home or work pt from home. Now, its been 5 years. Why did they divorce? Just trying to understand both sides. providing for men moral thing to do. Then taking advantage of his credit its not so moral..ha!
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Old 01-05-2014, 12:51 PM   #5
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He got his degree right before they met, so he got it on his own. She did stay at home with the kids, but that's what she wanted to do and before they met, she was just broke. She was working at a fast food joint. He offered to let her go back to work at several times, even if they lost a little bit of money, since he thought she was unhappy at home(she was). She choose to continue to stay at home. I'm perfectly fine with alimony, because I understand needing to get back on your feet.
The reason they broke up was that she spent all of their money, constantly. He didn't want to live paycheck to paycheck, but she would never let them save. To add to the stress, she liked to secure and won't end an argument until she has won. Basically, they were both young and got married too soon, and they didn't know how to be married. After 5 years together, their marriage was bad, and she refused to work on it, and he wanted to be done.

So, since there were financial reasons for their marriage ending, it's not really surprising that their ate financial issues in the divorce. IMO, dh felt guilty, and so he signed up for way too much obligation because at the time he felt like he deserved the punishment. But, that's no way to go through life. In her most recent email, ex-wife had the tong that implied that because he ended things, he should basically always pay her money for that broken promise. He should always be on the line to make up for him not wanting to be with her. I can understand how someone would feel that way, but our reason would indicate that isn't actually what should happen.

Last edited by aravae; 01-05-2014 at 12:56 PM.
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Old 01-05-2014, 01:47 PM   #6
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Re: advice on dealing with exes

If she is an unfit mother then go for custody, if she is not then don't threaten to take her kids away from her. You only have them on holidays & holidays are fun, she has then 24/7 & anyone who has kids especially more than 1 will know not everyday is fun or easy. I take it she is doing it by herself with no help from a full time partner. How would you feel if someone wanted to take your baby for a year or longer? Also don't forget that the man she loved & married & had 2 kids with is now with you & you both have a child so imagine how angry & hurt she is. That maybe why she wants to punish him with all the extra spending now & he may feel guilty due to it & that is why he enables her spending long after he had to.

The money issues that were present in their marriage have been continued after their divorce thanks to him. He has let/encouraged her to use his cc & paid insurance & extras. He maybe doing out of guilt but it is causing the problems & I bet it makes you feel resentful which is understandable.

He should pay off the c/c & cancel it, stop paying her insurance & any extras. Get access to the kids done legally.
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Old 08-24-2015, 07:30 PM   #7
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Re: advice on dealing with exes

He should only pay what is court ordered, nothing more. Gifts for the children are fine. He needs to save the money for lawyers fees. This will end up in court and he will need a lawyer. Been there, done that. Best of luck to you!
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Old 09-22-2015, 01:03 PM   #8
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Re: advice on dealing with exes

It is sad, I am sorry you have to deal with that. Separation brings out the worst in people.
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Old 07-26-2017, 01:40 AM   #9
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Re: advice on dealing with exes

You're in a very hard situation but I guess a legal mediation is needed in this case. I hope you'll solve it as soon as possible.
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Old 08-23-2017, 05:26 AM   #10
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Re: advice on dealing with exes

How old are the children? And can you prove, in court, that the children would be better off living with you?

She is clearly not going to give them up without a fight, and I would be very surprised if repairing this relationship enough for effectively co-parenting is a viable option. Professional mediation would be a good route to try, but the ex has to agree to go.
If you and your husband genuinely think that living with their mother is damaging then you need to:
1. act on it
2. be able to prove it.

I don't know what state you live in, and every state has different laws, but here in MD the courts are very reluctant to change the status quo unless there has been a material change in circumstances that adversely affects the children in question. If gaining custody is what you and your husband are aiming for, I would get legal advice as soon as possible to understand what your options are, and what your next steps should be.
If you don't think the girls would be better with you, and this was only brought on by the daughter's questions, then you should apologize to the ex wife and explain to the daughter that, for now, it is healthier for her to stay with her mom.

Whatever you decide, good luck!

Also, to echo what several other people have said, your husband needs to stop paying for extras. I understand why he did it, but it's unnecessary and clearly hasn't helped their relationship, as she now feels entitled to more of his money than the children need.
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